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So You Wanna Go Viral

Video Basics for Online Marketing

Written By: Greg Gaskill

Viral video sensations are the panacea of online marketing, when a homemade video takes on a life of it's own and spreads across the Internet like an out of control forest fire. The perfect viral video becomes a must see, even making internet sensations of the video stars, much like lonely girl, or Chris Crocker, the "leave Britney alone guy" whose online video defense of the beleaguered pop star made him an instant star. Had Chris Crocker been promoting a product, it would have received an almost incalculable dollar's amount worth of exposure. How does the saying go? You can't buy that kind of advertising.

Except you can. For every "accidental" viral video sensation there are dozens of knock off's that keep interest up on the original. And for every Chris Crocker online sensation, there are the videos that fall short of the mark. So what's the secret sauce that each viral video contains to turn it into online gold? It depends on your channel, but jokes seem to do the best. Funny short clips under three minutes work very well. Shock does the trick. Remember the "ghost in the car ad" video that swept the country several years ago? It worked because of the element of surprise. The question you need to ask yourself is how you can turn a video about your product into an Internet sensation?

The basic rules of marketing may not apply. Instead of trying to cram all of the benefits of your product into one video, create a series of video highlighting each individual benefit, and do it in a funny way. Make it seem natural, make it remarkable and memorable, and your video stands a good chance of going viral. Be creative and original, and match your humor to the market. And never forget that creating an online video sensation is hard work. If your video is going to be posted on Youtube, then maybe you should consider ninja's, pets and the other top elements that are number one searches on the site. Of course you don't need those characters, there are plenty of examples of videos on the site that have millions of views. The keys are to use catchy music, be a little off of the norm and don't be too obtrusive in your advertising. Words like "Banned" or "Censored" video about your product tend to draw more viewers. It can't be an overt ad, or if you want, you state upfront that it's an advertisement, and give your audience a rare does of honesty in advertising. No matter what you choose though, viral videos can take time.

Of course most small business owners have a lot on their plates and don't have the time to brainstorm their next original video creation. The stress of running a business, marketing the business, and balancing it with a life can leave little time for great execution. Busy small business owners should look at a professional online marketing company to create a marketing plan with customized videos for the company. Videos that are designed by qualified experts to have all the elements to make going viral that much easier. Viral videos don't need high production values, but what they do need is complete originality, or a new way of looking at an element. If you are a small business owner who knows the value of time, consider hiring a professional online marketing company to create your viral videos for you.

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